There is a debate that rages from dorm rooms to conference rooms. Some say it’s one of the most burning subjects in our society today. Some say the answer could change the world forever. That question being:
Who are the best players in the NBA today?
I’ve racked my brain for days, and this is the list I’ve come up with. Many have tried to get it right over the years, but the perfect list has finally been made.
Here are the 15 best players in the NBA today
1. Kevin Durant
2018-19 Stats: PPG: 26.0, APG: 5.9, RPG: 6.4, SPG: 0.7, BPG: 1.1, FG%: 52.1%
KD has really cemented himself as the world’s best player over the last two seasons. His scoring and defensive ability are second to none, and doing all of that at seven feet is like nothing we have ever seen before. A third straight NBA Finals MVP wouldn’t hurt his ranking either.
2018-19 Stats: PPG: 27.7, APG: 5.9, RPG: 12.5, SPG: 1.3, BPG: 1.5, FG%: 57.8%
Not many people are coined with the perfect nickname, but the “Greek Freak” sure is. The 6’11” freak of nature took his play, and team to another level this season. Giannis is dominating and efficient on offense, and stout and disruptive on defense. The Bucks are the one seed in the East, and he’s my one seed to win this years MVP award. The most frightening part is he’s 24, and only getting better.
3. LeBron James
2018-19 Stats: PPG: 27.4, APG: 8.3, RPG: 8.5, SPG: 1.3, BPG: 0.6, FG%: 51.0%
Yes, your King has been thrusted from his throne that he held for over a decade. No playoffs, unwillingness to play defense, shotty leadership, and an organization in shambles doesn’t help his case for number one. Knowing LeBron, he’ll probably find a way to reclaim his throne by the end of next year.
4. Kawhi Leonard
5. James Harden
2018-19 Stats: PPG: 36.1, APG: 7.5, RPG: 6.6, SPG: 2.0, BPG: 0.7, FG%: 44.2%
36 points a game. Are you kidding me?! James Harden can score at will. No matter how much his style of play pisses me off, I respect him for his ability to put the ball in the hoop. Some might have him higher, but his lack of leadership, and defensive tenacity, along with the excessive flopping push him down to the five spot.
6. Anthony Davis
2018-19 Stats: PPG: 25.9, APG: 3.9, RPG: 12.0, SPG: 1.6, BPG: 2.4, FG%: 51.7%
Some might forget they were calling Davis the best player in the world for a period of time last season. Since then he’s had injury issues, and has requested to get the hell out of New Orleans (can’t blame him). All around Davis could be the league’s most complete player, but a lack of winning history lands him in the six spot for now.
7. Steph Curry
2018-19 Stats: PPG: 27.3, APG: 5.2, RPG: 5.3, SPG: 1.3, BPG: 0.4, FG%: 47.2%
The best shooter of all time. Not even a question. Although, his constant nagging injuries have led to many up and down performances throughout the year, I almost had him in the top five. but as the top point guard on the list all you bandwagon Warriors fans can’t get too angry.
8. Nikola Jokic
2018-19 Stats: PPG: 20.1, APG: 7.3, RPG: 10.8, SPG: 1.4, BPG: 0.7, FG%: 51.1%
Jokic just doesn’t look the part,. As a seven footer, he’s the BEST passer in the league. His outlets and no look passes are something even Steve Nash would be jealous of. His defense isn’t great, due to his lack of athleticism, but he is very active and positions himself well. Jokic led the Nuggets to the two seed in the West using his old man moves to perfection the entire way. The Joker will be a big problem in this league for the next 15 years.
9. Joel Embid
2018-19 Stats: PPG: 27.5, APG: 3.7, RPG: 13.6, SPG: 0.7, BPG: 1.9, FG%: 48.4%
There may not be anyone more physically dominant in the league today than Embiid. He’s unbelievable to watch, but is he sick, tired, or hurt today? You just don’t know what you will get with Embiid from one night to the next. He has the talent to be an all time great, it’s only his mentality that will stop him from getting there.
10. Paul George
2018-19 Stats: PPG: 28.0, APG: 4.1, RPG: 8.2, SPG: 2.2, BPG: 0.4, FG%: 43.8%
I thought PG-13 would never be the same after snapping his leg in half. He has sure proved me wrong. This season he finished second in the NBA in scoring, and is the front runner for Defensive Player of the Year. He’s OKC’s best player, and showed it all year long. An impressive comeback, and very deserving of a top ten spot.
11. Damian Lillard
2018-19 Stats: PPG: 25.8, APG: 6.9, RPG: 4.6, SPG: 1.1, BPG: 0.4, FG%: 44.4%
Dame is a killer. That shot to put the Thunder away in the first round of the playoffs will be on highlight tapes until the end of time. Lillard is a great scorer, and an underrated facilitator. If he played in a bigger market he would get more of the respect that he’s earned. Clutch as they come, Dame Dolla.
12. Kyrie Irving
2018-19 Stats: PPG: 23.8, APG: 6.9, RPG: 5.0, SPG: 1.5, BPG: 0.5, FG%: 48.7%
Outstanding dribbler, scorer, finisher, closer, and passer. All that being said, he’s an awful leader, and dragged the Celtics down on and off the court this season. He’s still a borderline top eight guy in the league, but his attitude and performance this season left a bad taste in my mouth. If I went strictly off of stats he’d be higher up the list, but that’s not how this works folks. At the moment this is where the self coined “basketball genius” stands with his peers.
13. Russell Westbrook
14. Karl-Anthony Towns
2018-19 Stats: PPG: 24.4, APG: 3.4, RPG: 12.4, SPG: 0.9, BPG: 1.6, FG%: 51.8%
After a slow start Towns started to play like the guy everyone thought he could be. He has the skills to become a perennial All-Star, and even a top ten player once he puts a little muscle on. I expect Towns’ stock just to keep rising as the years go on.
15. Luka Doncic
2018-19 Stats: PPG: 21.2, APG: 6.0, RPG: 7.8, SPG: 1.1, BPG: 0.3, FG%: 42.7%
Luka should be the unanimous Rookie of the Year. At 19 years old, he put up absurd numbers against fully grown men that could be his father. He has the moves of a seasoned vet, and should’ve been an All-Star this year. There were times when his efficiency and turnovers became an issue, but for someone that young what do you expect? This kid has the ability to be an all time great, and I don’t expect anything less from him going forward.
There you have it, the perfect list! I didn’t think it was possible, but I’ve done it. Sometimes we let statistics cloud what our eyes see in front of us. That is why this list didn’t just harp onto numbers when making the list, but rather how well these great players play the game on both ends of the court.
Of course every list is subjective, but to me this is where the NBA stands going into the 2019-20 season. Leave a comment on where I was right, and where I totally missed in your opinion.
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